Chairman's Press

07.15.14

GOP Senators to Secretary Perez: Wage Hike at Fast Food Restaurants on Military Bases May Lead to Restaurant Closings

WASHINGTON, July 15 - U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today led a group of six Republicans on the Senate labor committee in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez asking how the Department of Labor decided to mandate a wage hike at fast food restaurants at federal sites, including military bases. U.S. Military Exchange Service Command officials have warned that "the shift in policy will lead to a number of restaurant closings at our military installations," the senators write … Continue Reading


07.11.14

Alexander Tells Nation’s Governors: “We Need to Stop Washington’s National School Board”

"We need to stop Washington from making it harder for governors to improve their public schools, raise standards, and recruit and keep good teachers." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., July 11 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate education committee and former Tennessee governor, today called on the nation's governors to support legislation that would "end the trend toward a national school board and stop Washington from making it harder for governor… Continue Reading


07.11.14

HELP Committee Senators to HHS: Mishandling of Dangerous Pathogens Calls for Review of Policies and Procedures

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Members of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, led by Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN), are pressing for answers following three separate incidents in which select agents were reportedly improperly handled, stored, or transferred by federal laboratories at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In a letter sent to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell today, the lawmakers called for a careful rev… Continue Reading


07.10.14

GAO Undercover Investigation Raises Questions About Pension Advance Companies’ Business Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10-The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released the results of an undercover investigation into pension advance companies requested by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member of the HELP Committee. GAO found questionable business practices at companies that, in exchange for a consumer's future pension payments, offer some financially distressed consum… Continue Reading


07.09.14

Overhaul of America’s Job Training Programs Headed to President’s Desk Following Strong Bipartisan Support from Congress

WASHINGTON, July 9 - Legislation to update the Workforce Investment Act, overdue for reauthorization for more than a decade, is headed to the president's desk following overwhelming bipartisan support from both houses of Congress. The Senate and House authors of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) applauded the passage of the bill, which seeks to update and improve the nation's workforce development system. The legislation was approved today by a vote of 415 to 6 by the House of … Continue Reading


07.03.14

Alexander, Burr, Isakson to National Labor Relations Board: “Congress Never Intended for College Athletes to be Considered Employees”

WASHINGTON, July 3 - Republican members of the Senate, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), today announced that they filed an amicus brief on behalf of Northwestern University for the case now pending before the National Labor Relations Board regarding the unionization of college athletes (Northwestern University v. College Athletes Players Association). "Congress never in… Continue Reading


07.01.14

Alexander on HHS Inspector General Report

NASHVILLE, July 1 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate health committee, today released the following statement on two new reports by the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services that found major systemic problems with verification of eligibility for the Obamacare subsidies: "This report tells us that the administration was more concerned with appearances than getting anything in Obamacare done right. They've allowed millions of… Continue Reading


06.30.14

Alexander: Hobby Lobby Ruling Makes Clear that “Government Cannot Force Americans to Defy Tenets of Their Faith Simply Because They Own a Business”

Washington, D.C., June 30 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate health committee, today released the following statement on the Supreme Court's ruling that the federal government cannot compel employers to provide coverage for abortifacent drugs that violate their religious beliefs: "The Supreme Court's decision today makes clear that the government cannot force Americans to defy the basic tenets of their faith simply because they own a business. I am gla… Continue Reading


06.30.14

Alexander on Supreme Court Ruling on Harris v. Quinn

Washington, D.C., June 30 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement on today's decision by the Supreme Court on Harris v. Quinn, in which the court ruled it unconstitutional for home-based personal care providers who receive Medicaid payments for their work to be forced to pay union fees. "Today's decision is good news for our nation's families, who are now protected from a disturbing union scheme to turn private homes into unionized workplaces," said Alexander, … Continue Reading


06.26.14

Alexander on Supreme Court Ruling Obama Recess Appointments Unconstitutional

Washington, D.C., June 26 -U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the committee overseeing labor policy, released the following statement on today's ruling by the Supreme Court, which held that the president's January 2012 appointments to the National Labor Relations Board are unconstitutional: "The unanimous Supreme Court decision today is a powerful rebuke to the Obama administration and a reminder to others that the Constitution gives the Senate powers the executive… Continue Reading


06.25.14

Harkin, Alexander, Murray, Isakson Praise Senate Passage of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Urge Swift House Approval to Send Long-Overdue Update to President’s Desk

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 25-The Senate coauthors of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) today hailed the Senate passage of the bill, which seeks to update and improve the nation's workforce development system, and together urged the U.S. House of Representatives to take up the bill and pass it swiftly. The bill-which was approved by a vote of 95 to 3-modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs, helps workers attain skills for 21st-century jobs, provides… Continue Reading


06.23.14

Alexander, Kline Statement on Corinthian Colleges

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) issued the following joint statement in response to the agreement reached between the Department of Education and Corinthian Colleges Inc.: "We are glad to see that the agreement reached between Corinthian and the Department of Education will keep the doors from being shut on 72,000 students who are in the midst of earning th… Continue Reading


06.23.14

HELP Committee Senators Harkin, Alexander, Burr, and Casey Press CDC for Details About Possible Anthrax Exposure at CDC Lab

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 23-Following a recent incident at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in which upwards of 75 staff may have been exposed to live anthrax, members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee today requested information from the agency about the lapse in safety protocols that led to the potential exposure, and asked for steps the CDC is taking to prevent future incidents. In a letter sent to CDC Director Tom Frieden, Committee Chair… Continue Reading


06.19.14

Senators Alexander, Bennet Would Cut 100-Question Student Aid Form to 2 Questions

WASHINGTON, June 19 - Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) today released a draft bill to simplify the process of applying for and receiving federal financial aid to attend college, allow year-round use of Pell Grants, discourage over-borrowing and simplify repayments. The bill would reduce to a single postcard-called the "Student Aid Short Form"-the questions any student must answer to apply for federal financial aid and inform high school students in their junior ye… Continue Reading


06.18.14

Senators Ask FDA about Expanded Access Program in Response to Patient Concerns

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), and Richard Burr (R-NC) sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Hamburg asking for comprehensive data on the risks and benefits associated with the Expanded Access, or "compassionate use", program. Expanded Access allows patients to access non-FDA approved therapies which are outside of clinical trials to treat serious or immediately life threatening conditions. The full text of the letter is below: June 16, 2014 M… Continue Reading


06.12.14

Alexander: Democratic “Gag Rule” on Important Amendments Has Moved from Senate Floor to Committees

*** "Offering amendments on behalf of the people who elected us is a job I'm proud to do. If senators aren't willing to do what they're elected to do, no one is making them be here." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., June 12 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today called on his Senate colleagues to schedule a markup that was reportedly postponed to avoid forcing senators to vote on amendments to the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bi… Continue Reading


06.11.14

Alexander Votes NO on “Wasting a Week on a Political Stunt While Veterans are Standing in Line at Clinics Waiting for Us to Act”

*** "College graduates don't need a $1-a-day subsidy to pay off their $27,000 loan, which is the average for a four-year degree. They need a job." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., June 11 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate education committee, today voted against moving to the Senate Democrats' "political stunt" on student loans, saying the Senate shouldn't "waste time on it when veterans are standing in line waiting for us to take up a bipartisan p… Continue Reading


06.09.14

Alexander: Senate Democrats’ Political Stunt Would Raise Taxes, Increase Debt to Offer $1-a-Day Subsidy on Some Old Student Loans

*** "College graduates don't need a $1-a-day taxpayer subsidy to help pay off a $27,000 loan, which is the average federal loan for four-year degrees. They need a good job." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., June 9 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate education committee and former U.S. Secretary of Education, said today that Senate Democrats' proposal "raises individual income taxes by $72 billion and could add up to $420 billion in new federal deb… Continue Reading


06.08.14

Alexander: Republicans Want to Work With President on “Real Student Debt Problems”

"Last year, the President and Congress worked together to cut nearly in half interest rates on all new student loans for undergraduates. Hopefully he will work that way again instead of joining Senate Democrats' political stunt to give some former students a $1-a-day subsidy to help pay off loans while raising income taxes by $72 billion and increasing the federal debt by up to $420 billion." -Lamar Alexander Nashville, June 8 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican o… Continue Reading


06.05.14

Praise for Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Improve America’s Workforce Development System

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Since a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators announced a deal to improve the nation's workforce development system through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a broad array of labor, business, and workforce development leaders, as well as governors and mayors from around the country, has expressed support for the proposal. Read a summary of the bill here. Excerpts from letters of support sent to the bipartisan, bicameral group are immediately below, and … Continue Reading

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